ReVISIONS: Regional Visions of Integrated Sustainable Infrastructure Optimised for NeighbourhoodS
Start date: 1 April 2008
End date: 31 March 2012
This research aims to provide the knowledge for public agencies and companies to plan regional infrastructure for transport, water, waste, and energy, (ranging from large capital schemes to small scale decentralised services), in a more coordinated and integrated way.
Regional policies affect the location of development and the density of housing and hence the demand for transport, energy, water and waste services, which has major implications for infrastructure provision. Whilst regional policies can enhance the sustainability of the allocation of land and movement of resources at the regional scale, they also risk constraining sustainable development through limiting opportunities for sustainable action at the local scale. Local solutions clearly have implications at the regional level (via aggregate demand for travel and resources, and waste flows), and have an important role in making efficient use of existing infrastructure capacity and obviating the need for potentially unsustainable capital works. These local sustainability improvements will be re-aggregated to estimate the impacts at the regional level for each of these integrated regional options.
The research is based on case studies of the East of England and the Greater South East regions. The research is being carried out in parallel with similar case studies of city regions in other parts of the world to compare and contrast regions of similar size to the Greater South East but at different stages of development. These cases studies include Beijing and Sao Paulo. Each urban development option will be assessed across a wide range of criteria encompassing environmental impacts, use of resources, economy, social inclusion, health, and other quality of life factors. The intention is to identify the most robust options that perform well under different future scenarios. The research will deliver generic normative guidance and decision support tools for use by central and regional government departments and agencies, regional assemblies, utility companies, developers, planners and designers.
The research builds on the expertise, data, models, and tools of the EPSRC sustainable urban environments projects of SOLUTIONS, (land use and transport), WaND, (water), and SUE-Waste, with additional expertise on energy generation and supply, and building energy demand.
The research aims to develop a holistic and practical integrated framework for the analysis and assessment of the sustainability of regional spatial development. The research explores the inter-relationships between infrastructure policies and measures at the regional and local scales and explores the tensions and interactions that exist across these scales, and between sectors.
The project will devise and test alternative regional spatial strategies integrated across infrastructure sectors and spatial scales to investigate to what extent infrastructure selection, investment, regulation, and pricing can help to achieve more sustainable ways of living. At the regional scale these options will range from focussing new development on the core city of the region, to allocating most of the new dwellings within planned new developments dispersed throughout the region.
The ambition is to maximise economic competitiveness, reduce environmental and resource use impacts, and allow households to live more sustainably with an enhanced quality of life.
University of Cambridge (consortium lead), University of Exeter, University of Leeds, Newcastle University, Aberystwyth University, University of Aberdeen
Non Academic Partners
- Communities and local Government (DCLG)
- Department for Transport (DfT)
- Environment Agency
- Yorkshire and Humber Assembly
- Yorkshire Water
- For the Greater South East case study:-
- East of England Regional Assembly (EERA)
- East of England Regional Development Agency (EEDA)
- South East of England Regional Assembly (SEERA)
Dr Sandip Deshmukh